Canadian Liberals shoot themselves in the foot on family planning bill

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

A silly event from Canadian politics today - the Liberals under Ignatieff apparently had the idea that bringing up a motion calling for a "full range of family planning" in Canada's G8 maternal and child health initiative would be a good idea. The "full range of family planning", of course, is code for family planning including abortion, thus an attempt to create a rift in the other party or at least come up with some evidence that they are against a woman's right to choose. One of those "ah ha! But in 2010 you voted against a motion simply calling for family planning services, didn't you?"-type bills.

But here's where the silliness comes in. The motion on its own might have had the intended effect, were it not for this part tacked on the end:

"the Canadian government should refrain from advancing the failed right-wing ideologies previously imposed by the George W. Bush administration in the United States, which made humanitarian assistance conditional upon a ‘global gag rule' that required all non-governmental organizations receiving federal funding to refrain from promoting medically-sound family planning.
George W. Bush is long gone, and putting this on the end simply made the motion look more like an attempt to battle a perceived right-wing ideology than a serious attempt at discussing family planning. Perhaps as a result, a number of Liberals voted against their own party and the bill failed to pass in spite of the Conservatives having a minority.

I wrote back in November 2008 that one effect of a Barack Obama presidency would be that the opposition parties wouldn't be able to compare the Conservatives with George Bush anymore (and if they did it wouldn't be effective), but it looks like old habits die hard.

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